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Ridgefield's Picturesque Parade

The longest Memorial Day Parade in recent memory saw ideal weather and an enthusiastic turnout.

Daisy Troop 50539 held up a banner that read "Thank you Veterans."

A marcher from the Keeler Tavern Museum shouted "God Bless Ridgefield and God Bless America."

And thousands of people were there to roar their approval on Monday morning, lining Main Street in their red, white and blue to watch the town's annual Memorial Day parade.

The American Legion Post 78 organizes the parade every year, according to Town Treasurer Maureen Kiernan. George Besse is the Commander of the post and Bob Tulipani organizes the event. Besse and Tulipani, both native Ridgefielders, marched in the parade with their post.

Doris Ventres, a Ridgefielder who has been hand-writing letters to soldiers overseas for decades, was slated to be the parade's Grand Marshall, but she passed out in the heat before the parade began and was taken to Danbury Hospital as a precaution.

The parade started in front of Jesse Lee Memorial Church on Main Street. It ended in Ballard Park, where a ceremony took place in honor of servicemen and women who gave their lives serving our country. The parade lasted about an hour and included veterans, girl scouts, boy scouts, politicians, Ridgefield sports teams and five local marching bands.

The Ridgefield High School Marching Band led the pack of marching bands, followed by Danbury Drum Corps, The Sparklers from New Fairfield, Celtic Cross Fife and Drum Corps from Danbury, Germantown Ancients Drum Corps, Young Colonials from Carmel, N.Y., and the 5th Colonial Regiment from Georgetown. The 5th Colonial Regiment fired their gunpowder-filled guns in the air at each crosswalk, delighting the young—and unnerving the dogs—with the loud boom.

Kids and teenagers selling cookies, cotton candy, popcorn and fruit cups for various charities offered their treats to attendees. Pennies for Paws had a table set up on the sidewalk, as did the TD (touchdown) Team of Relay for Life and others.

And those attendees came from all over to honor service to the country on a picture-perfect 80 degree day. 

World War II Navy vet Joe Peck and his partner of 26 years, Pat Little, both of Meriden, said they found out about Ridgefield's parade by doing a Google search of parades in Connecticut. John and Frances English traveled from Brooklyn, N.Y., to see two of their 15 grandchildren march.

Joel Weisvogel June 04, 2010 at 03:01 AM
Great parade; wonderful weather, plenty of particapation, plenty of fun, touching service. It's the first time I've seen Blue Star Mothers honored, which is something we should see more of. My only queston is: What possesses one to think it's a good idea to bring there dogs to such events? Makes no sense to me!
John Symon June 04, 2010 at 03:36 AM
I agree, Joel. Great day in Ridgefield! Right on with the dogs --- many looked in distress. I also had to avoid 3 'land mines' left on the sidewalk -- my young daughter kept saying 'gross'. I had to agree.

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